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No. 146. Restoration of Tennessee

July 24, 1866

A BILL to restore Tennessee, accompanied by certain testimony and other papers, was reported in the House March 5, 1866, by Bingham of Ohio, from the Joint Select Committee on Reconstruction, and recommitted. It was taken up July 19, and agreed to on the 20th, the vote on the preamble being 86 to 48, 48 not voting, and on the resolution 126 to 12, 45 not voting. In the Senate an amendment proposed by Sumner, providing that there should be no denial of equal legal rights on account of race or color, was rejected, 4 to 34, and an amended preamble agreed to, the latter vote being 23 to 20. The amendments to the resolution were agreed to by the House July 23, without a division, and the amendment to the preamble by a vote of 93 to 26, 62 not voting.

REFERENCES. - Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XIV., 364. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., and the Cong. Globe. The majority and minority reports of March 5 and 6 are House Reports 29 and 30. In the history of the act the evolution of the preamble is particularly important.

Joint Resolution restoring Tennessee to her Relations to the Union.

WHEREAS, in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-one, the government of the State of Tennessee was seized upon and taken possession of by persons in hostility to the United States, and the inhabitants of said State in pursuance of an act of Congress were declared to be in a state of insurrection against the United States; and whereas said State government can only be restored to its former political relations in the Union by the consent of the law-making power of the United States; and whereas the people of said State did, on . . [February 22, 1865] . . ., by a large popular vote, adopt and ratify a constitution of, government whereby slavery was abolished, and all ordinances and laws of secession and debts contracted under the same were declared void; and whereas a State government has been organized under said constitution which has ratified the amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolishing slavery, also the amendment proposed by the thirty-ninth Congress, and has done other acts proclaiming and denoting loyalty; Therefore,

Be it resolved.

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That the State of Tennessee is hereby restored to her former proper, practical relations to the Union,

and is again entitled to be represented by senators and representatives in Congress.

No. 147.

Franchise in the District of


January 8, 1867

A BILL to regulate the elective franchise in the District of Columbia was introduced in the Senate December 4, 1865, by Wade of Ohio, and reported with amendments on the 20th. January 10, 1866, the bill was recommitted, and on the 12th again reported with an amendment. It was not taken up until June 28, when further consideration was postponed until December. The bill was taken up December 10, and on the 13th passed the Senate, the vote being 32 to 13. On the 14th the bill passed the House by a vote of 127 to 46, 18 not voting. January 7, 1867, President Johnson vetoed the bill. The bill was passed over the veto by the Senate on the 7th, by a vote of 29 to 10, and by the House on the 8th, by a vote of 112 to 38, 41 not voting.

REFERENCES. - Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XIV., 375, 376. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 39th Cong., 2d Sess., and the Cong. Globe. A minority report in the House, December 19, 1865, is House Report 2, 39th Cong., 1st Sess.

AN ACT to regulate the elective franchise in the District of Columbia.

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Be it enacted. That, from and after the passage of this act, each and every male person, excepting paupers and persons under guardianship, of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, who has not been convicted of any infamous crime or offence, and excepting persons who may have voluntarily given aid and comfort to the rebels in the late rebellion, and who shall have been born or naturalized in the United States, and who shall have resided in the said District for the period of one year, and three months in the ward or election precinct in which he shall offer to vote next preceding any election therein, shall be entitled to the elective franchise, and shall be deemed an elector and entitled to vote at any election in said District, without any distinction on account of color or race.

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No. 148.

Elective Franchise in the Terri


January 31, 1867

A BILL to amend the organic acts of the several Territories was introduced in the House April 24, 1866, by James M. Ashley of Ohio, and referred to the Committee on Territories. The bill was reported without amendment on the 26th, recommitted, and again reported May 3. A substitute offered by Ashley May 15, the ninth section of which prohibited the denial of the elective franchise on account of race or color, was agreed to by a vote of 79 to 43, 61 not voting, a motion to strike out the ninth section being defeated by a vote of 36 to 76, 72 not voting. The bill was reported with amendments in the Senate May 31, but went over until the next session. January 10, 1867, a substitute in the words of the act following, offered by Wade of Ohio, was agreed to. The Senate amendment was accepted by the House by a vote of 104 to 38, 49 not voting. The bill became a law without the President's approval.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XIV., 379. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 39th Cong., 1st and 2d Sess., and the Cong. Globe. An abstract of the House bill of May 3 is in the Globe for that date; Ashley's substitute, ibid., May 15.

An Act to regulate the elective Franchise in the Territories of the United States.

Be it enacted That from and after the passage of this act, there shall be no denial of the elective franchise in any of the Territories of the United States, now, or hereafter to be organized, to any citizen thereof, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; and all acts or parts of acts, either of Congress or the Legislative Assemblies of said Territories, inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby declared null and void.

No. 149. First Reconstruction Act

March 2, 1867

THE question of the restoration of the insurrectionary States to a place in the Union early engaged the attention of Congress, and many resolutions setting forth the opinions of their framers as to the way in which such restoration should be brought about, were submitted. A concurrent resolution

of March 2, 1866, declared "that, in order to close agitation upon a question which seems likely to disturb the action of the government, as well as to quiet the uncertainty which is agitating the minds of the people of the eleven States which have been declared to be in rebellion, no senator or representative shall be admitted into either branch of Congress from any of said States until Congress shall have declared such State entitled to such representation." The majority report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction was submitted June 18, 1866, and the minority report four days later. A bill to reconstruct North Carolina was introduced by Thaddeus Stevens December 13. February 6, 1867, however, Stevens reported from the joint committee a general reconstruction bill. On the 13th a substitute offered by Stevens was agreed to, and the bill passed the House, the vote being 109 to 55, 26 not voting. An amendment submitted by James G. Blaine of Maine, providing that when Congress should have approved the Constitution of any State conferring suffrage in accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment, the other sections of the bill should become inoperative, was rejected. In the meantime the Fourteenth Amendment had been rejected by all the seceding States except Tennessee. The Blaine amendment, offered by Sherman in the Senate, was accepted by that house, and the amended bill passed, February 16, by a vote of 29 to 10. On the 19th the House, by a vote of 73 to 98, refused to concur, but the next day receded from its disagreement, and concurred in the amendments of the Senate, with the addition of amendments embracing section 6 and the proviso of section 5 of the act as passed. The bill was vetoed by President Johnson March 2, but was promptly passed over the veto the same day, the vote in the House being 138 to 51, 3 not voting, and in the Senate 35 to 1I. An act of January 22 had provided “for the meeting of the fortieth and all succeeding Congresses immediately after the adjournment of the preceding Congress," while another act of February 21 directed the clerk of the House to include in the roll of representatives for the next Congress members from those States only which had been represented in the preceding Congress. A joint resolution of March 30 appropriated $500,000 for the expenses of executing the various reconstruction acts.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XIV., 428, 429. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 39th Cong., 2d Sess., and the Cong. Globe. The bill reported February 6 is the same as the act as passed, except the fifth and sixth sections, which were added as amendments: For the texts of the more important resolutions on reconstruction, with the action upon them, see McPherson, Reconstruction, 109-114, 183-187. Johnson's message of July 20, 1867, transmitting a report of a cabinet meeting, is in Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, VI., 527-531. The documentary literature is extensive. The report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction is House Report 30, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. On the early disturbances in the South see House Exec. Doc. 96 and House Report 101, 39th Cong., 1st Sess.; House Exec. Docs. 61, 68, and 72 and House Report 16, 39th Cong., 2d Sess. The most important orders, etc., relating to military reconstruction, are in Senate Exec. Doc. 14, 40th Cong., 1st Sess.; see also Senate Exec. Doc. 14, and Senate Report 14, 38th Cong., 1st Sess.; House Report 23, 39th Cong.,

2d Sess.; House Exec. Doc. 342, 40th Cong., 2d Sess. The State constitutions of the reconstruction period are in Poore, Charters and Constitutions. On political conditions see House Exec. Doc. 131, Senate Exec. Dec. 43, Senate Misc. Doc. 62, and Senate Report 112, 39th Cong., 1st Sess.; House Exec. Docs. 20 and 34 and House Misc. Docs. 29 and 53, 40th Cong., 1st Sess.; House Exec. Docs. 53 and 276 and Senate Exec. Doc. 53, 40th Cong., 2d Sess.; Senate Exec. Doc. 13, 41st Cong., 2d Sess. On the constitutional ques tion see particularly Mississippi v. Johnson, 4 Wallace, 475; Georgia v. Stanton, 6 ibid., 51; Texas v. White, 7 ibid., 200.

An Act to provide for the more efficient Government of the Rebel States.

WHEREAS no legal State governments or adequate protection for life or property now exists in the rebel States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and Arkansas; and whereas it is necessary that peace and good order should be enforced in said States until loyal and republican State governments can be legally established: Therefore,

Be it enacted . . ., That said rebel States shall be divided into military districts and made subject to the military authority of the United States as hereinafter prescribed, and for that purpose Virginia shall constitute the first district; North Carolina and South Carolina the second district; Georgia, Alabama, and Florida the third district; Mississippi and Arkansas the fourth district; and Louisiana and Texas the fifth district.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the President to assign to the command of each of said districts an officer of the army, not below the rank of brigadier-general, and to detail a sufficient military force to enable such officer to perform his duties and enforce his authority within the district to which he is assigned.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of each officer assigned as aforesaid, to protect all persons in their rights of person and property, to suppress insurrection, disorder, and violence, and to punish, or cause to be punished, all disturbers of the public peace and criminals; and to this end he may allow local civil tribunals to take jurisdiction of and to try offenders, or, when in his judgment it may be necessary for the trial of offenders, he shall have power to

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